Crock-Pot Eggplant and Tomato Stew

My friend, Katie Miller, made this soup for me and I absolutely loved it! The best part about cooking in a crock-pot is that dinner is ready when you get home (which is awesome after a long workout). I pair the soup with cous cous, baked potato or good bread.

1 medium eggplant, peeled — cut in 1/2″ cubes
2 cups chopped tomato – I use canned chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups sliced carrot
15 ounces garbanzo beans or kidney beans, canned and drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced celery – I omit this because I’m not a huge fan of celery
3 cloves garlic — minced
3 cups vegetable broth
6 ounces tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano — crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil — crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf

1. In a 3 1/2, 4 or 5-quart crockpot, combine eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, onion, celery and garlic.
2. Combine vegetable broth, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and bay leaf. Pour over vegetables.
3. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Discard bay leaf. Makes 6 servings

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